I'm very new to brewing and also fermentation and I'm really confused when I start fermenting my ginger bug. I don't know when to screw my bottle tight and when to put a cheese cloth on top of the bottle and when to use airlock during the brewing process.

I guess..

To put cheese cloth during first fermentation so I can capture more wild yeast into the bottle? But then if it start bubbling, the bubble will go away. Also it is suggested I shake the bottle every day, do I put the lid on, shake it and switch it back to cheese cloth?

To screw the bottle tight in 2nd fermentation is to keep the Co2 in the bottle to make the drink fizzy.

To use airlock is when you try to brew alcohol beverage and you will feed more sugar to the yeast and it will be a longer fermentation, using airlock will let Co2 escape the bottle safely.

So am I right?

But I see people using airlock during first fermentation and some people make fruit yeast water in a tightly screwed jar, so I got confused. I hope someone can help me to understand. Thank you very much.

1 Answer 1


You're pretty much spot on. A couple of notes-

Capturing wild yeast is OK but uncertain. I've always preferred to keep wild yeast out of my bug because it's much more likely (at least over time if you keep your bug alive batch to batch) to cause sourness or astringency in the beer.

Yes you need to seal it for the co2 to dissolve and make it fizzy. I don't advise sealing for the whole time. Last third - quarter of the brew time, or seal a open daily to prevent excess build up.

Cheese cloth and airlock do the same thing except airlock prevents wild yeast or air entering.

There's a lot of varying opinion because many things work. The only 2 rules I'd say are 1) start with a very sanitary container, and 2) of storing your beer for a long time then don't try to include wild yeast. Enjoy :)

  • Good answer. The OP should ask themselves why they want to use wild yeast. Even bread making yeast would be more reliable than wild yeast. Sure if you really want wild yeast, then do so. But if you don't care, I wouldn't.
    – Kingsley
    Commented Feb 21, 2022 at 3:06

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